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Budget 2019 announced

  • 10/10/2018
  • Author:bridgetmccall

The details included measures relating to housing, health, social welfare payments and childcare.

Pile of euro coins

The Budget 2019 was announced on Tuesday 9 October 2018 by the Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe TD.

The details included measures relating to housing, health, social welfare payments and childcare.

Housing

The Irish Government is allocating 2.3 billion euro to the 2019 housing programme.

This includes:

  • 1.25 billion euro for the delivery of 10,000 new social homes through 'construction, acquisition and leasing'

  • An extra 121 euro for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) to provide an additional 16,760 new tenancies in 2019

  • 60 million euro for capital funding, including additional emergency accommodation and additional family hubs

  • 30 million euro for services for homeless people

  • 100 million euro to support local authorities to bring forward lands for subsidised, more affordable housing through the Serviced Sites Fund

  • Mortgage interest relief for landlords to rise to 100% from 1 January 2019.

Social welfare

  • There will be a 5 euro per week increase in all weekly social welfare payment from March 2019

  • The Christmas Bonus payment will be fully restored to all social welfare recipients this year.

Parents and children

  • A new paid parental leave scheme is to be introduced in November 2019 to give two extra weeks' leave to every parent of a child in their first year of life. The Government intends to increase this to seven extra weeks over time

  • Increases to the Qualified Child Payment of €2.20 per week in respect of under 12s and €5.20 per week in respect of over 12s, as well as a €25 increase in both Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance rates

  • The earnings disregard for the One Parent Family Payment will be increased.

  • A maintenance disregard for Working Family Payment will be introduced

  • The income thresholds for the Affordable Childcare Scheme will increase:

    • Base income threshold to 26,000 euro (net)

    • Maximum income threshold to 60,000 euro (net)

    • Multiple child deduction to 4,300 euro (net).

Health

  • The health budget will be increased by 1.05 billion euro to 17 billion.

  • 25 euro increase in the weekly income threshold for the GP Visit Cards

  • For Medical Card holders aged over 70, prescription charges will reduce from 2 euro to 1.50 euro

  • The monthly Drugs Payment Scheme threshold will drop from 134 euro to 124 euro

  • 84 million euro has been allocated for Mental Health services

  • An extra 150 euro has been given for disability services - total funding will be 2 billion euro

  • National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to get an additional 20 million euro.

Simon Communities Ireland comment

Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said:

"We welcome the Budget of €2.3 billion for housing in 2019. However, there appears to be no increase in targets for social housing. There is a commitment to 10,000 units through acquisition, refurbishment and new build, which is the existing target for Rebuilding Ireland in 2019. We await the detail but hope there will be greater commitment to Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies (AHB’s) building on State lands this year.

"There are at least 100,000 households in need of social housing. We welcome the announcement of the affordable housing scheme and we await more details on how this will work. The absence of secure affordable housing is at the heart of the housing and homeless crisis. Proactive State intervention is required to deliver secure affordable housing across all tenure types."

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